I know I have been guilty many times of not appreciating some of the entertainment options provided to the Peoria area.
Last night, I visited the Peoria Civic Center for the first time since the ($55 million?) renovations, to see BB King in the theater.
The theater itself didn't have any noticeable upgrades to me. I've been there a few times over the years, to see the Nutcracker, Firebird and Itzhak Perlman, and everything looked the same as I remembered it.
I'll have to check out the arena. I spent years there in section 14 watching Rivermen games.
After showing our tickets at the theater entry doors, we headed to the concession area to order some drinks. The lines were crazy. Might not have been a bad idea to add some concession stands during the renovations, maybe one on the upper level, or bring in some portable ones for large events.
While standing in line, we heard the announcement that the show would begin in 10 minutes. The good news was, the line moved pretty quickly, and we got our drinks and headed to our seats.
There was an man playing guitar and singing when we got into the theater. We missed the announcement of who he was, and his name was not on the tickets or the advertisements we saw for the BB King concert. He played a handful of songs, and then the BB King band came out in full force, with trumpets, saxophones and guitars.
They had a lot of difficulty getting the sound tweaked during the first part of the show. I have heard some comments, and StfRon has, too, that the Civic Center Theater doesn't have the best acoustics, so maybe the crew was having problems getting it right.
Despite this, the BB King concert was great. At 82 years, BB was humble, funny and engaging, and his music was excellent.
I love seeing a show in a smaller venue like this, instead of some place like the Civic Center Arena. I felt a sense of loss when BB stood and said his goodbyes for the night.
We darted out the side door to get away from the crowds, only to be faced with the band's tour buses. We took a minute to snap a few pictures of the license plate, then bundled up for the walk back to our car.
Seeing a great event like this makes me consider what else I might be missing. Tickets for some of these events seem expensive, but the shows can be a once in a lifetime sort of thing.
I checked out the Peoria Civic Center's web site, and see that Blue Man Group will be back in April 2008. Hmm, maybe I can start saving up now...